Google’s Android and Chrome lead comments on Apple relationship, China, Google Play ads

Sundar Pichai

Google’s Sundar Pichai recently sat down with Forbes to talk about the Mountain View company’s ambitions in China, its relationship with Apple, and what its overall vision looks like. Some interesting quotes from Google’s Android and Chrome head have surfaced as a result, and among other comments, Pichai took a moment to respond to constant criticism from Apple that Google is in the business of monetizing its users. Pichai also touched on Google’s aspirations in China as well as the sponsored ad program it is testing in Google Play…

Read more

Google ups free song storage limit to 50,000 songs on Google Play

unnamed

If you’re a user of Google Play Music, you probably know that you can store your own music on Google’s servers for streaming from your various devices, but now Google has announced that the amount of songs that you can store for free has been increased, up to 50,000 songs from 20,000. While many of Google’s competitors charge for this kind of service, Google has long offered the ability to store several thousand songs for free—and now they’re upping the limit.

Read more

Google testing a new virtual ‘Genius Bar’ for Google Play customer service

screen-shot-2015-02-06-at-14-58-07

Google has used its Hangouts technology in many ways over the last couple of years, and one big way was the introduction of a new service called “Helpouts” that lets people sell their expertise to others over video conferencing. Now, it looks like Google is bringing Hangouts to a new area: customer service on the Google Play store.

Read more

Google acquires Launchpad Toys, makes popular Toontastic kids app free

GOOGLE-LPT

It appears that Google is about ready to jump into the kid-friendly mobile app space, as Launchpad toys has today announced that they’ve been acquired by the Mountain View company. Known for its Toontastic storytelling app for kids, the company is joining Google to “create even more amazing creativity tools for kids.”

Read more

Rolling Stone magazine archives coming to Google Play Newsstand tomorrow, initially free

rolling-stone

Rolling Stone magazine is making some of its archived issues available in the Google Play Newsstand app, with three or four major stories from each issue available for free. The move is being made in partnership with Google as a means of promoting the app, reports Fast Company.

Google Play’s global head of marketing Brian Irving says he views the Rolling Stone partnership as a way to demonstrate the possibilities of Google Play’s Newsstand, which he argues is better suited for content discovery than Apple’s Newsstand, due to features like customizable themes and key word searches.

Gus Wenner, son of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, said there was enormous interest in archived stories when properly promoted …  Read more

Google now prohibits developers from including user testimonials in app descriptions

Google-Play-Store-logo

Google today has updated its Play Store guidelines with yet another restriction on what developers can put in the descriptions of their apps. With today’s update, developers are now forbidden to include user testimonials in their app’s description. Any developer who breaks this rule could see the app in question pulled (via Android Police).

Read more

Google brings Songza’s Concierge playlists to the UK

google-play-songza

One area in which Google Play Music has continually been lacking is its support for listeners outside of the United States. International use with Google Play Music got a little better tonight, however, as Google has revealed that it is bringing its Songza-powered automated playlist generation feature to listeners in the UK (via TechCrunch).

Read more

Google: The Nexus 5 ‘will continue to be available’ in Q1 2015

nexus5

Many reports have been hitting the web this morning that the Nexus 5 has ceased production, and while that may very well be true (we’re pretty sure it is), there’s no reason to go buying a backup phone out of fear that the device is going to magically disappear from the Play Store over the next few days (at least according to an official statement provided to us by Google)…

Read more

Google shares this year’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news

GooglePlay_EOY-infographic_v7

Google has put together a hefty infographic showing 2014’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news.

Health and fitness was the fastest-growing app category, with MyFitnessPal topping the charts within the category. Candy Crush remained the most downloaded game. Other app category chart-toppers were Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Duolingo, Flipagram and NFL Mobile …  Read more

Google begins notifying users of $19 million settlement with FTC over in-app purchases

google-play-games

Google has started notifying users of its Play Store about a $19 million settlement it reached with the FTC in September. The company is being required to pay out refunds for in-app purchases made by children on their parents’ credit cards after one of Apple’s lawyers brought the case to the FTC’s attention.

Users will have until December 2nd, 2015 to log into their Play Store accounts and mark any in-app purchases that were made by a minor in order to qualify for a refund. The total refund isn’t limited to $19 million, as that number serves only as a minimum required by the FTC.

Read more